Queen's tailor Hardy Amies was a wartime hitman.

The Queen's dressmaker Sir Hardy Amies was yesterday named as one of the men who helped to plan the murder of dozens of Nazi collaborators in Europe towards the end of the Second World War.

The discovery of Sir Hardy's role in the special operation to assassinate Nazi collaborators has been made by a forthcoming BBC 2 history series on secret agents.

However, although the producers have documents that they claim show Mr Amies' involvement, he has disclaimed all knowledge of the affair and will not be mentioned at all in the BBC2 Secret Agent programme. Producer David Darlow said yesterday: "From a television point of view the fact that he wouldn't talk about it on camera stopped us from using it."

Researchers were allowed by the Public Records Office to see unreleased documents about Operation Ratweek early in 1944. The operation sent out secret agents to murder Nazis and sympathisers all over Europe. Helping organise the operation in London was Lt-Col Amies. The BBC producers were amazed when they traced the Lieutenant Colonel and found he was the 91-year-old former dress designer to the Queen.

It is known that Sir Hardy was in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the War, but his role in the little known Operation Ratweek has never been revealed. All government papers relating to it have been kept secret.

When the BBC went to interview Sir Hardy, he claimed to have no recollection of his role in the operation, which successfully killed scores of leading Nazi sympathisers.

Mr Darlow said: "When we went to see Hardy Amies, he said 'sorry, old chap, I can't remember a thing about it.'" He said Sir Hardy would have nothing to feel ashamed about. "Organising the assassination of Nazi collaborators across Europe was an act of patriotism. I admit, though, that it is hard to reconcile the Queen's dress designer with this."

Last night Sir Hardy again denied he was involved in the operation. He said: "I have never heard of it before. Certainly, I was in the SOE for the whole of the war and involved in seeing that men were parachuted behind enemy lines to help the partisans. But I knew nothing of Operation Ratweek. I am perturbed that the BBC are saying this because maybe my memory is at fault. But I don't think it is."

Mr Darlow responded last night by producing documents, including minutes of meetings of the SOE in 1944 which talked of the involvement of the then Lt-Col Amies, head of the Belgian Service. Mr Darlow said: "We've got a bunch of documents which show his involvement, and I have checked with his agent that the signature is that of Hardy Amies."

The programme will now contain no mention of Operation Ratweek, even though special access was given to BBC researchers by the Public Records Office, and a book is now being written by an Imperial War Museum historian revealing full details of the hitherto secret operation.

Mr Darlow said: "The secret documents we have seen show that dozens and dozens of people were killed in the operation. You can call it murder, or you can call it assassination. It was wartime and it was a justifiable thing in wartime. There's nothing dastardly about this. He was pursuing war as he should have been."

Sir Hardy was acting head of the Special Operations Executive for Belgium during much of the war, and became head of SOE Belgium in 1944.

The documentary, to be broadcast next month, will tell the story of the men and women who went behind enemy lines as part of Winston Churchill's secret army. The SOE, which had its headquarters in Baker Street in London, on the site now occupied by Marks & Spencer, was set up by Churchill on 19 July 1940, the same day Hitler told the Reichstag that Britain's defeat was at hand. The historian Ted Cookridge wrote: "A few strokes of a pen, and a body was created 'to co-ordinate all action by way of subversion and sabotage against the enemy overseas.' Or, as the Prime Minister put it, 'to set Europe ablaze.'"

The organisation was officially established under the Ministry of Economic Warfare, which became known in Whitehall as the "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare". The SOE's main concern, according to the book Britain's Secret Propaganda War by Paul Lashmar and James Oliver,was its work with the resistance groups that sprang up across Europe and the Far East. In 1942 it was also responsible for the assassination of Himmler's deputy Reinhard Heydrich.

Hardy Amies' association with the SOE is in his Who's Who entry, as is his love of opera, tennis, gardening and needlepoint. Although he joined the Intelligence Corps in 1939, he was even then a man of fashion as the managing designer at Lachasse in London's West End. But he gained national fame in 1955 when he became Dressmaker by Appointment to HM The Queen.

The son of a court dressmaker, Hardy Amies founded his own fashion house in 1946 in Savile Row after buying the building at a knock-down price because of bomb damage. His business took off in the postwar years when customers, who had been deprived of new dresses for the preceding years, snapped up his elegant, traditional designs. He is said to be the master of the little dress that serves as a backdrop to his clients' jewellery. Although the style always reflected the English upper class, his designs were most popular with American, Canadian and Japanese buyers.

His clients have included Lady Diana Cooper, Sally Burton, Elaine Paige and members of the Rothschild family. Because of his inability to draw, he has always collaborated with artists, and he envisages the finished article "working for its living" – at a party or wedding, or coming down a staircase.


Posted on Free Republic.

There is almost no one at present who would describe the War on Drugs as successful. That being the case, the prospect of legalization must be considered. However, there are just too many people in our society who are making money on drugs to allow their legalization, which would deny them the gigantic fortunes they are making. Illegal drugs are a $200 billion industry, the largest in this country. Here are some of the people who would lose income or profits if drugs were legalized:

1. Every person who actaully deals in drugs at any level.

2. The Black community would lose its single largest source of income.

3. The police would no longer be able to steal cash or the drugs themselves from the perps.

4. About 3/4 of the prison industry would go out of business.

5. About 3/4 of the criminal defense attorneys would be unemployed.

6. About 3/4 of the judges, clerks of court and secretaries would be unemployed.

7. The narcotics counseling business would fold.

8. The bankers who launder drug money would lose a considerable fraction of their business.

9. The Stock Market would collapse (the head of the NY Stock exchange recently met with the head of FARC, the narco-guerillas in Columbia).

10. The DEA would find itself out of business; unable to collect bribes and unable to import drugs itself.

11. The CIA would lose its favorite way financing illegal wars (as in Laos and Nicaragua).

12. A lot of top CIA people would lose their income from drug trafficking.

13. Future presidential candidates would not be able to finance their campaigns with drug money (Clinton in 1992).

14. Future Presidents would not be able to enrich their retirement with drug proceeds, payoffs and rakeoffs.

15. About half the police would lose their jobs.

16. A lot of sellers of luxury goods in South Florida and in Southern Clifornia would fold.

These are just the first few affects of legalization that come to my mind. Please feel free to add to the list.

37 Posted on 01/31/2000 08:42:33 PST by Magician


By Martin A. Lee World View Features Thursday, May 25, 2000

In March of this year, on the 62nd anniversary of Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria, several hundred neo-Nazis paraded through a Turkish neighborhood in Berlin, shouting anti-foreigner, anti-European and anti-Semitic slogans. They also sang the banned ultra-nationalist verses of the German national anthem at a rally organized by the National Democratic Party (NPD), the most radical of several German far-right political parties. The NPD called for the demonstration to show its support for Joerg Haider, the charismatic fuehrer of the Austrian Freedom party, a party that had recently entered that country's national governing coalition. Compared to Haider's suit-and-tie fascism, the German NPD represents a much rougher brand of extremism. Several NPD leaders have served -- or are currently doing -- jail time for denying the Holocaust.

The NPD's closest U.S. ally is Dr. William Pierce, author of the notorious hate novel, The Turner Diaries, which the FBI has called "the blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing." In 1998, Pierce traveled to Germany to attend the NPD's national convention. While NPD candidates have won a few local council seats in Brandenburg and Saxony, the party's involvement in electoral politics primarily functions as a legal cover for grass-roots neo-Nazi cadre-building -- with an emphasis on direct action, street confrontations and physical attacks against immigrants and anti-fascists. NPD campaign rallies typically resemble skinhead rock concerts crammed with rowdy youth.

The CIA's former friend On May Day, the NPD tried to take its game onto the turf of the Left by staging "pro-worker" demonstrations in several German cities, including Berlin, where the star speaker was veteran neo-Nazi agitator Friedhelm Busse. Formerly one of the youngest members of the Hitler Youth, Busse, 71, roused the crowd with anti-foreigner and anti-American vitriol that elicited loud cheers from shaven-head teenagers and 20-somethings who waved illegal imperial German black-and-white flags. Violence erupted after Busse ended his pep talk with a line from an old Nazi song: "We're marching for Hitler day and night because of the need for freedom and bread." Busse's status as an elder statesman among hard-core neo-Nazis in Germany is all the more troubling given that his checkered past includes a controversial stint with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Back in the early 1950s, Busse joined the Bund Deutscher Jugend (BDJ), an elite, CIA-trained paramilitary organization composed largely of ex-Hitler Youth, Wehrmacht and SS personnel in West Germany. Busse and his fellow Bundists were primed to go underground and engage in acts of sabotage and resistance in the event of a Soviet invasion. But instead of focusing on foreign enemies, Busse's "stay behind" unit proceeded to draw up a death list that included future Chancellor Willi Brandt and other leading Social Democrats (West Germany's main opposition party), who were marked for liquidation in case of an ill-defined national security emergency.

The Bund's cover was blown in October 1952, when the West German press got wind that U.S. intelligence was backing a neo-Nazi death squad. Embarrassed State Department officials, who tried to cover up the full extent of American involvement with the youth group, admitted privately that the scandal had resulted in "a serious loss of U.S. prestige." An abhorrent legacy West German "stay behind" forces quickly regrouped with a helping hand of the CIA, which recruited thousands of ex-Nazis and fascists to serve as Cold War espionage assets. "It was a visceral business of using any bastard as long as he was anti-Communist," explained Harry Rostizke, ex-head of the CIA's Soviet desk. "The eagerness to enlist collaborators meant that you didn't look at their credentials too closely."

The key player on the German side of this unholy espionage alliance was Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, who served as Adolf Hitler's top anti-Soviet spy. During World War II, Gehlen was in charge of German military-intelligence operations on the eastern front. As the war drew to a close, Gehlen sensed that the United States and USSR would soon be at loggerheads. He surrendered to the Americans and touted himself as someone who could make a decisive contribution to the impending struggle against the Communists. Gehlen offered to share the vast information archive he had accumulated on the USSR. U.S. spymasters took the bait. With a mandate to continue spying on the East just as he had been doing before, Gehlen re-established his espionage network at the behest of American intelligence.

Incorporated into the fledgling CIA in the late 1940s, the Gehlen "Org," as it was called, became the CIA's main eyes and ears in Central Europe. Despite his promise not to recruit unrepentant Nazis, Gehlen rolled out the welcome mat for thousands of Gestapo, Wehrmacht and SS veterans. Some of the worst war criminals imaginable -- including cold-blooded bureaucrats who oversaw the administrative apparatus of the Holocaust -- found employment in the Org. Headquartered near Munich, the Org subsequently morphed into the Bundesnachtrichtendienst, West Germany's main foreign intelligence service. Gehlen was appointed the first director of the BND in 1955. While dispensing data to his avid American patrons, Gehlen helped thousands of fascist fugitives escape to safe havens abroad -- often with a wink and a nod from U.S. intelligence. Third Reich expatriates subsequently served as "security advisers" to repressive regimes in Latin America and the Middle East. Ironically, some of Gehlen's recruits would later play leading roles in neo-fascist groups around the world that despised the United States and the NATO alliance. Friedhelm Busse went on to direct several ultra-right-wing groups in Germany, while another Gehlen protйgй, Gerhard Frey, also emerged as a mover-and-shaker in the post-Cold War neo-Nazi scene. A wealthy publisher, Frey currently bankrolls and runs the Deutsche Volksunion (DVU), which was described by U.S. army intelligence as "a neo-Nazi party."

During the past two years, the DVU scored double-digit vote totals in state elections in eastern Germany, where the whiplash transition from Communism to capitalism has resulted in high unemployment and widespread social discontent. Embittered by the disappointing reality of German unification, a lost generation of East German youth comprise a Nazi Party in waiting. Even before Frey formed the DVU in 1971 with the professed objective to "save Germany from Communism," he received behind-the-scenes support from Gehlen, Bonn's powerful spy chief. But when the Cold War ended, the DVU chief abruptly shifted gears and demanded that Germany leave NATO. Frey's newspapers started to run inflammatory articles that denounced the United States and praised Russia as a more suitable partner for reunified Germany. Frey also joined the chorus of neo-fascist leaders who backed Saddam Hussein and condemned the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 1991.

A deal with the devil

 In American spy parlance, it is called "blowback" -- the unintended consequences of covert activity kept secret from the U.S. public. The covert recruitment of a Nazi spy network to wage a shadow war against the Soviet Union was the CIA's "original sin," and it ultimately backfired against the United States. An unforeseen consequence of the CIA's ghoulish tryst with the Org is evident today in a resurgent neo-fascist movement in Europe that can trace its ideological lineage back to Hitler's Reich through Gehlen operatives who served U.S. intelligence. Moreover, by subsidizing a top Nazi spymaster and enlisting badly compromised war criminals, the CIA laid itself open to manipulation by a foreign intelligence service that was riddled with Soviet agents. "One of the biggest mistakes the United States ever made in intelligence was taking on Gehlen," a CIA official later admitted. With that fateful sub rosa embrace, the stage was set for Washington's tolerance of human-rights abuses and other dubious acts in the name of anti-Communism. * * * ____________________________________________________________________ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ADOLF by Martin A. Lee World View Features Thursday, April 20, 2000

Eight hundred guests gathered in Munich's Loewnbraeukeller, one of the biggest and most famous beer halls in Bavaria, to celebrate Adolf Hitler's birthday on April 20, 1990. To the delight of the assembly, several people wearing donkey outfits entered the premises and scampered between the tables. The masked marauders had come to mock the Nazi Holocaust. Those who accepted the fact that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews during World War II were depicted as donkeys that would believe anything. Although blatant displays of Holocaust denial are illegal in Germany, the proprietors of the Loewnbraeukeller had made arrangements with the police not to intervene while the keynote speaker, British author David Irving, trivialized Nazi atrocities in a smarmy, joke-filled address that drew a standing ovation from the audience.

A decade later, Irving made a complete ass of himself in a London courtroom, which rejected the libel suit that he had brought against American academic Deborah Lipstadt, who wrote an unflattering expose of Holocaust negationists. The judge ruled in no uncertain terms that Irving is an "active Holocaust-denier, an anti-Semite and a racist" with extensive ties to neo-Nazis in Europe and North America. White-collar skinheads Irving's cynical attempt to relativize the Holocaust has made him a welcome speaker on numerous far-right platforms. Despite his courtroom setback, Holocaust denial screeds and other kinds of hate literature will continue to circulate like political pornography among extreme right organizations, which range from violent skinhead gangs and underground terrorist cells to mass-based electoral movements. The number of hardcore neo-fascists in Germany grew by 10% in 1999 to 9,000 and, according to government statistics, far-right violence is also on the rise. Membership in far-right political parties increased from 49,000 to 51,400 last year (but this figure does not include the 40,000 members of the extreme-right Republikaner Party).

The situation is particularly troubling in economically depressed eastern Germany, where 15% to 20% of young men vote for neo-fascist parties. "To say that one third of East German youth is now prone to the extreme right is an understatement," warns East Berlin criminologist Berndt Wagner. "The point of no return has already been reached for many. It's very depressing. It's growing. It's getting worse." Even more dangerous in some ways than crazed outbursts of racist thuggery by neo-Nazi youth are what Nobel Prize-winning novelist Guenter Grass describes as the "white collar skinheads" who occupy positions of power in German government and society. These gentrified fascists have longer hair and dress in respectable suits and ties, but their bigoted worldview has much in common with violent neo-Nazi lumpen. The new poster boy The leaders of the more successful neo-fascist movements in Europe have deliberately softened their image and tailored their message to appeal to mainstream voters. Joerg Haider, the charismatic fuehrer of the Austrian Freedom Party, certainly does not conform to the stereotype of a Hollywood Nazi. He is far too cagey to advertise an explicit allegiance to the fascist creed. With Haider at the helm, the Freedom Party recently muscled its way into Austria's national governing coalition after it won 27% of the vote. In the last elections, it emerged as the top vote-getter among the Austrian working class and people under 30 in what proved to be the strongest showing of a right-wing extremist party in Europe since World War II. Much like disgraced historian Irving, who is held in high regard within the Freedom Party, Haider has likened Winston Churchill to Hitler and equated the Nazi Holocaust with the postwar expulsion of ethnic Germans from eastern border zones. When asked if 6 million Jews had died, Haider shrugged, "If you like." Haider's remark about the Holocaust was in keeping with several sympathetic statements he made in reference to Hitler's employment policies, the "decency" of the notoriously brutal Waffen SS, and how all soldiers, no matter which side they were on, had "fought for peace and freedom" during the World War II. After each so-called gaffe, the Freedom Party fuehrer flip-flopped and belatedly issued a half-hearted apology, only to make another outlandish comment soon after without actually admitting that he had said anything erroneous in the first place.

Instead of Haider, the media should scrutinize other Freedom Party members Instead of fixating on Haider's verbal pirouettes, news media should scrutinize some of the hard-core extremists who occupy positions of influence within the Freedom Party. To cite a few examples: Haider's adviser on cultural affairs, Andreas Molzer, was until recently the publisher of Zur Zeit, a virulently racist Vienna newsweekly, which raved about "the dogma of the six million murdered Jews" and the "epoch-making economic and political successes of the great social revolutionary," a reference to Hitler. Markus Ertl, a Freedom Party councilor in Spittal an der Drau, claimed at a veteran's reunion that only 74,000 people died at Auschwitz, and they were killed by Anglo-American air raids. Helmut Kowarik and Barbara Schoepfnagel, Freedom Party representatives in Vienna's regional parliament, are also active members of the Austrian Landsmannschaft, a group that promotes Holocaust-denial and commemorates Hitler's birthday in its newspaper.

The time is right for the far right Even outside Austria, neo-fascists and right-wing extremists have reason to be pleased as they mark Hitler's birthday anniversary this year. After wallowing in the political wilderness during the Cold War, they have posted significant gains at the ballot box and are now a force to be reckoned with in several European states. The Swiss Peoples Party scored a major electoral breakthrough, besting all contestants with 23% of the vote last October. Far-right parties have also tallied 15% or more nationwide in Norway, France and Italy. And the Vlaams Blok, another radical right-wing populist party with openly fascist roots, outpolls its rivals with more than 30% of the vote in Antwerp, Belgium's second largest city. In Western Europe today, there are 50 million poor people, 18 million unemployed, and 3 million homeless -- and post-Communist Eastern Europe is faring much worse. Such conditions are ripe for exploitation by ultra-right-wing demagogues.

Scapegoating immigrants and railing against globalization, a new breed of fascists posing as national populists has touched a raw nerve in a post-Cold War world that is still wobbling from the collapse of Soviet-bloc Communism, the reunification of Germany, major economic restructuring and fast-paced technological change. "Neo-fascism and neo-Nazism are gaining ground in many countries -- especially in Europe," says Maurice Glele-Ahanhanzo, special rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Of particular concern, Glele-Ahanhanzo noted in a recent report to the U.N. General Assembly, is the "increase in the power of the extreme right-wing parties," which are thriving in "an economic and social climate characterized by fear and despair." Among the key factors fueling the rise of the far right, according to the U.N. report, are "the combined effects of globalization, identity crises, and social exclusion."

Even when they lose elections, neo-fascists are like a toxic chemical in the water supply of the European political landscape, polluting public discourse and pressuring establishment parties to adopt heretofore extremist positions to beat off challenges from the hard right. By the time the Austrian Freedom Party grabbed the reins of national power in February 2000, it had already seen the previous centrist governing coalition implement much of its anti-immigration and law-and-order platform. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult to discern any substantive policy differences between Haider's minions in Austria and a growing right-wing faction within the conservative opposition in Germany, which has openly endorsed the Freedom Party. If someone with Haider's charisma emerged on the German political scene, there is little reason to doubt that he would do rather well. Martin A. Lee is the author of The Beast Reawakens, a book about neofascism. is a service mark of and part of the VoxCap Network. ** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, material appearing Antifa Info-Bulletin is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for research and educational purposes. ** * * * ANTIFA INFO-BULLETIN (AFIB) 750 La Playa # 730 San Francisco, California 94121 To subscribe: [email protected] To unsubscribe: [email protected] Inquiries: [email protected] On PeaceNet visit AFIB on pol.right.antifa Via the Web --> Archive --> ANTI-FASCIST FORUM (AFF) Antifa Info-Bulletin is a member of the Anti-Fascist Forum network. AFF is an info-group which collects and disseminates information, research and analysis on fascist activity and anti-fascist resistance. More info: E-mail: [email protected]; Web: Order our journal, ANTIFA FORUM, cutting-edge anti-fascist research and analysis! 4 issues, $20. Write AFF, P.O. Box 6326, Station A, Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1P7 Canada